Manchester United drew 2-2 at Leicester City after wasting chances in the second half and contributing writer, Nathan Quao, of Citi Sports, outlines the talking points
United duly pay for wastfulness
The score line could and should have been greater on the night. The defects with Leicester City’s shape were very apparent after (my fellow Ghanaian) Daniel Amartey was sent off and so, the Red Devils should have been all over the Foxes.
They did find the openings but the final execution was not there. Some may point to luck (in Jesse Lingard’s case) but the lack of finesse and precision was the sole reason why the team did not win the game.
Chances were created by the dozen and the players failed to honour their end of the deal. They simply failed to score.
The pursuit of Manchester City may be fruitless but putting teams away is a key tool for the rest of the season. That is the only way the opposition will not find a away back from the dead.
There are other competitions to be played and there will be opponents who will be there for the taking.
They need not be spared at all. They must be punished and doing that sends statements to other teams and build the confidence of the team.
Going to bed and allowing teams to find a way back into matches must be resolved quickly.
Mata must show his value more often
The match was set up to be one for Juan Mata. He scored the goals in very good fashion and he would feel happy with his personal contributions.
However, these performances are very few and far between. In what is almost becoming the norm, Mata always fails to stand out in matches and he seems to slow the team’s attack down with his need to always touch the ball when a simple pass can open the door.
Some argue that he is handicapped when the opposition is physical and that is largely true. But a player with his skill should know how to carry himself through matches.
With the busy Christmas schedule already in motion, he must show his worth as the team will be rotated to spread the work load.
His performances are not only needed by the team in its hunt for victories and success but what he does affects his own future at the club especially since there are rumours of a play-maker being sought after by the manager.
Response is crucial
There is nothing anyone can do about the result but what can be done is to get ready for the upcoming matches against Burnley and Southampton.
There should still fighting spirit in the players and the manager must do all it takes to get everything out of them.
They must be reminded to keep going and they must be willing to fight for themselves and the team. That is the difference between themselves and Manchester City if you look past the quality in their ranks.
The hunger for success is what will drive this team to better things in the second part of the season.
If it is there, the players do a fantastic job of hiding it but if it is totally absent, then that seed must be planted and fast-tracked by the manager for the team’s sake and his own.